A strategic approach to digital marketing, part 3

being visible onlineBy Jim Augustus Armstrong—In the first two installations I said that being visible online —by itself—is not an advantage because almost everyone is visible online. It’s the bare minimum. This series is about being more strategic.

Loss of trust

Numerous polls and studies show that Americans have lost trust in American institutions: government, universities, legacy media, social media, religion, corporations, marriage, law enforcement, health care, etc. It’s not just one or two institutions, it’s a sweeping loss of trust across the board.

Massive loss of trust is the backdrop against which every business is operating, including yours. When you push out ads, posts, videos, emails or whatever digital channels you’re using to convey your message, it’s critical that you realize your first job is to build trust. When designing your ad or website, assume the worst—that your prospective customer who doesn’t know you and has never done business with you will view your ad or website as if it were coming from a political party or member of congress, and that your first job is to overcome this massive skepticism.

For all these reasons I train dealers on how to use trust builders in every aspect of their flooring business, from the marketing to the sales process, to the service and product.

Keep your friends close

The biggest trust builder is one which requires very little work because the trust is already built. It’s regular communication with your past customers, their referrals and referral partners. Most dealers ignore this group, and they’re seriously shooting themselves in the foot. As I’ve covered numerous

times, the 90/10 formula is a powerful, effective way to communicate regularly with this group. This means content that’s 90% fun, informative, welcoming, relationship-building, trust-building content, and only about 10% about flooring.

Social proof

What others say about you is 100 times more effective than what you say about yourself, even if you’re 100 times more eloquent. That’s why you need reviews. For decades I’ve used testimonials and taught owners how to obtain and use testimonials in their sales and marketing. Reviews are just digital testimonials. Everyone reads your reviews to help them decide whether or not to even visit your store. They’re so important that part of Flooring Success Systems’ service to floor dealers includes generating ongoing reviews for them.

We also help dealers to repurpose those reviews and get double, triple and quadruple duty from them. include:

  • Pushing them out as social media posts for the dealer
  • Streaming them on the dealer’s website
  • Adding them to the deal
  • Other social proof strategies include:
    • Photos of completed projects (before and after)
    • Videos of projects (before, during and after)
    • Video testimonials
    • Proof of insurance
    • Licensing Guarantees and warranties

All of these various social proof strategies will help overcome the initial distrust and skepticism from strangers.


Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. For information, visit flooringsuccesssystems.com.

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